Museum Mum Diaries: January-March 2017

Spring has most definitely sprung in London – with beautiful blue skies and tree blossoms already coating the pavements. As the year races by, I thought I would pause to reflect on how I’m doing on the Take 12 Trips challenge I’ve set myself, and some of the other highlights of the last three months.

January

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My partner and I kicked the year off with a rare child-free weekend break – to London! And we did what any sensible parents would do with 24 hours of child-free freedom… Enjoy a few drinks! Starting off with a delicious bottomless afternoon tea (and bubbles) at Cutter and Squidge, we then blagged our way into the members only The Blind Pig bar in Soho. Still too full to eat, we finished up at the legendary American Bar at the Savoy, with live jazz piano and complimentary nibbles accompanying our final cocktails of the evening. Luckily we didn’t have far to crawl walk as we were staying just across the road at the Strand Palace hotel, thanks to the Telegraph. After a freshly cooked breakfast the next morning, we fitted in a bit of culture with a trip to the Taylor Wessing Prize exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, before heading home (only somewhat reluctantly!)

We also managed a date night on the Strand later in the month, seeing Dead Funny at the Vaudeville Theatre, which was (painfully) funny AND contained full nudity. Score.

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With Museum Dad on a cycle trip, I took the youngest to London Transport Museum to road test their All Aboard soft play, as well as explore the rest of the museum. As you can see, Museum Toddler was enthralled by the Crossrail display (we had to watch the video FOUR times!)

I also got some time with the teenager, taking her to the Adventure Travel Show as inspiration for the BIG family trip I want us to do after her GCSEs. We came away with lots of ideas, a few free pens (and mentally thousands of pounds poorer). We talked it through over a grown-up three course lunch courtesy of Dorsett Shepherds Bush. It looks like Canada is currently her first choice… watch this space!

I made a solo visit to the fantastic temporary exhibition ‘Museum of Transology’, which I reviewed for the Social History Curator’s Group journal. It’s powerful, emotive and deeply engaging – and closes on April 22, so visit whilst you still can!

February

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This was the month that I made my commitment to #take12trips – and then squeezed in FIVE family trips! We took the youngest kids to see the orchids at Kew Gardens, to the family day at Westminster Abbey and the Robot Zoo exhibition at the Horniman museum.

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I took my first solo parenting break with the two youngest, with a three night break to Cardiff Bay. With visits to Techniquest, Cardiff Castle (VERY briefly as son completely terrified by the tunnels), National Museum Cardiff, Cardiff Story Museum, Treetop Adventure Golf, Science Cream and a fun swim at Cardiff International Pool we certainly weren’t short of things to do!

And I got some time alone with the teen, with a visit to the incredibly powerful Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum.

March

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This was a very busy month with both me and my partner on work-related residentials. We managed three trips – a (soggy) weekend break to Alton Towers where we focused on their under fives offer; a trip to the Stick Man trail in Weald Country Park and another to Valentines Mansion and Gardens where we had a sunny Mother’s Day picnic.

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Unusually we managed not one but three date night dinners! We ate the best roast beef EVER at Simpsons-in-the-Strand, enjoyed Peruvian food at Casita Andina and had an amazing eight course Japanese meal at Kiri restaurant.

So that makes a Jan-Mar total of 10 trips (3 weekend breaks and 7 days out) and 4 date nights.

I published four blog posts:

Review: Fire! Fire! at the Museum of London

14 tips for visiting Westminster Abbey with young kids

Museum Mum Travels: 2017 plans

17 special Mother’s Day ideas in UK museums

Hmmm, clearly I need to work out how to blog as much as I visit. Let’s see if I do any better over the next few months!

What have been your highlights so far of 2017? Let me know if you’d like to know more about any of these trips!

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